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Michaela Jacques, Ashlyn DewarMichaela Jacques and Ashlyn Dewar, Grade 11 students at Belle River District High School, attended campus Friday for the Specialist High Skills Major health and wellness conference.

Campus conference provides skills certification to secondary students

A conference Friday provided a “fabulous opportunity” for more than 200 Windsor-Essex high school students to get a taste of post-secondary education, said Krysta Brosseau.

A teacher consultant with the Greater Essex County District School Board, she helped to organize a conference on health and wellness for students pursuing the Specialist High Skills Major. The program is aimed at students in Grades 11 and 12, and provides them job placements and a chance to earn industry certifications.

UWindsor faculty led sessions Friday in a range of related topics, from concussion awareness to laboratory best practices to sterile techniques. All attendees received certification in communications skills.

Brosseau said that bringing the students to the University is a powerful motivator.

“It’s a game changer in terms of being able to showcase opportunities in our community,” she said. “They get a chance to dip their toes in the water.”

Katia Benoit, a student recruitment officer in the Office of Enrolment Management, said the event may encourage some of the attendees to consider pursuing post-secondary studies at UWindsor.

“Exposing students to the academic pathways we have at the University helps them to get a feel for what’s it’s like to be a student at the U,” she said.

Certainly that attracted Ashlyn Dewar, a Grade 11 student at Belle River District High School. After registering for the day’s activities, she looked forward to a session that promised an introduction to medical terminology.

“It sounds like a unique sort of thing,” she said. “I signed up in the first place because I figured it would be good to learn more about what it would be like to be at the University.”